Transitioning into a healthy lifestyle is a daunting task, but achieving your goals doesn’t have to be difficult. Changing your diet to include healthier eating habits is easier than you think! A few small changes to your food routine can make a huge impact on life and overall health. Improving your diet and including gut-healthy foods is proven to have positive impacts on more aspects of your life than you may expect. A good diet can give you more energy to do the things you love, help you lose weight (and keep it off too!), lead to clearer skin, encourage you to stick with a routine, and so much more!
1. Eat your biggest meal for breakfast and your smallest meal for dinner.
- Think about what you do in a day. When do you need the most energy? Eating earlier will keep you full as you go about your daily life and routine.
- Starting your day strong with a hearty breakfast is especially important because the foods you eat in the morning fill your body with the energy you need to get through the day. Even better, choosing gut healthy foods in the morning will help your digestion, reduce bloating, and allow your body to get the most out of the food you eat all day long.Try making some overnight chia seed putting with fresh fruit and bananas!
- Eating a good breakfast will lessen your hunger throughout the day so you won’t be tempted to eat too many snacks before lunch.
- Think of lunch as an opportunity to recharge your body for the second half of the day. Half of the day is done, give your body the nutrients it needs to make it through the rest of the tasks you have to do!
- Dinner is typically eaten in the evening, after most of your day has already passed. Your body doesn’t need as much energy as it did earlier in the day and your meal should reflect that. Don’t give your body more food than it needs, scale down your portions to give you enough energy to get you through your evening routine.
- Adding good things to your diet is just as important as taking out unhealthy things! Look at what you typically eat and think about if your diet includes all of the nutrients your body needs. If you find that you are not giving your body all of the nutrients it needs, add them in!
- Healthy fats: Don’t be daunted by the word “fats” your body needs these! Fats help your body grow and repair cells, and also to create important hormones. If the only source of fat in your diet is oil, consider adding some natural, healthy fats too! Food like: Avocados, nuts. fish, cheese, whole eggs (not just the whites).
- Whole Grains: Not only do whole grains fill your body with energy, but they hold fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need, such as such as B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium. Food like: oats. barley, brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa.
- Protein: Protein is what makes up your muscles. Even if you are not actively aiming to grow your muscles, you need protein to keep the muscles you do have strong. They do all of the moving in your body! And don’t worry, there are plenty of vegetarian and plant based proteins to be found in food like: egg whites, lentils, edamame, broccoli, chickpeas
- Gut healthy foods!
- The amount of information you see about diets floating around on the internet or social media is overwhelming. People you see will absolutely swear by this new diet or that new supplement. These may seem tempting, but often times they are restricting and unsustainable. Who wants to be told that you cant eat your favorite food? In fact, studies show it is unhealthy to bounce back and forth between new diets, your body can’t keep up with you!
- Instead, think about what kind of food habits are best for you, what foods you love, what nourishes your body, and what is easy.
- Don’t you hate it when you open the fridge and can’t find anything to eat? Or when you are too busy and grab whatever is easiest? These habits lead you to eat too much, too little, or foods that are too boring. By meal prepping in advance, you can insure there is always good, healthy food for you to eat!
- Meal prepping can save you money. Not only will it help encourage you to eat the food you have at home rather than eating out when you have a busy day.
- Meal prepping can save you time! The time it takes to prepare, cook, and clean up a meal is time you could use to do something you love! By cooking your meals in advance, you are combining all of the preparation and cleaning into one day. And by having prepared meals ready to go you can spend less time in the kitchen or thinking about what you have to cook, and more time for yourself.
- When you meal prep, you can plan in advance what you are going to eat so you know just what you are putting into your body.
- Make a list of meals that you like
- Organize a meal exchange. Find a group of friends, and each make one meal in bulk. Later, exchange and share portions of the food you made. This way you have multiple different, delicious meals prepared in advance and you only had to go through the effort of making one!
- Get some good containers to store your food in. Good food storage reduces waste, keeps your food fresh, and keeps it organized! If each of your meals are prepared in separate containers it is easier to grab and go!
- You’d be surprised what chemicals and additives are in the foods you eat. Take a moment to read the labels on the packaged food you buy. Look at what the first few ingredients on the lists are, because the sooner it is on the list the more of it is in the food. If the first ingredients aren’t natural things you have heard of, or can even pronounce, think about finding an alternative.
- By slowing down and recognizing what you eat, you can also realize how much you are eating. Check the serving size on the package, or if you are eating whole foods think about the quantity you consume. Eating isn’t a bad thing, your body needs food! But make sure you are eating in moderation. If you find you are eating a lot of one type of food, think about changing it up, adding a little variation in your diet.
- Don’t be afraid to look things up! if you have questions about your food, or what an ingredient is, find a resource with reliable information. The more you know about what you’re eating the better.
Improving your diet and your lifestyle is a choice you make, and is an individual journey. If you try one method and find it is difficult to sustain, change it up! Your diet is all about you, what you like, what you want, and what your body needs.